This slow-cook Lamb & Pumpkin Curry is one that will fill you up on flavour and leave you feeling like you’ve just been to your favourite local Indian.
Indian 20 Mins plus marinating time 2 Hours 30 Mins EasyServes 6
200ml natural yoghurt
1 heaped teaspoon dried chilli flakes or chilli powder
1/2 fat thumb-sized piece of ginger, washed and grated on the big holes
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
4 cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1kg diced lamb or mutton
1 or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
100g ground almonds
400-500ml chicken stock
500g pumpkin, cut into medium dice
150g frozen peas
4 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
a big handful of coriander
salt and lots of black pepper
To marinate the meat
Combine the yoghurt, chilli flakes, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric, cardamom, bay leaves and cinnamon in a bowl.
Add the meat and toss it around to make sure it’s well coated. You can also mix by hand but it’s advisable to wear latex gloves as turmeric can really get stuck under your fingernails.
Leave to marinate for as long as you can, preferably overnight.
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large heavy-based pan, add the chopped onion and stir for a couple of minutes.
Tip the meat, with its marinade, into the pan and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 to 10 mins or until it is brown all over.
Add the ground almonds and stir well until all the meat is coated in the almonds.
Pour in enough stock just to cover the meat, season with salt and masses of pepper and bring to a slow simmer.
Simmer for around 1 hour 30 minutes (or until the meat begins to soften) with the lid on, giving it regular stirs to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan (which the almonds have a tendency to do).
Only then add the diced pumpkin and the pepper, push them all under the surface of the liquid (if this is physically impossible due to the lack of liquid then add enough just to cover).
Cook for about 20-30 minutes longer, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan – keep the lid off and leave it bubbling away nicely – until the pumpkin is just beginning to lose its shape and the meat is good and tender.
Turn off the heat, add the tomatoes and peas and stir so they are all submerged, then put the lid back on and leave for 10 minutes for them to soften up.
Check the seasoning, give it a last good vigorous stir to smash up the tomatoes a bit and then serve with rice, yoghurt and a handful of coriander on top.
Recipe notes by Elizabeth Gibbs
As you can see this dish lamb & pumpkin curry dish is fairly simple to make. All you need to bear in mind is that the lamb needs to be cooked until it is through the tough stage and is beginning to soften (but not quite tender yet) as there is still an additional 30 to 40 minutes of cooking when combined with other ingredients.
Cooking the lamb could take much longer than 1 hour 30 minutes, depending on the cut of meat, and even longer if you opt for mutton.